One of the more underrated tournaments of the season unfolds this week as the Valspar Championship sandwiches itself between the WGC-Mexico Championship (last week) and the Arnold Palmer Invitational (next week).
The field is not great, but the course and sleepers are solid. For the fourth consecutive week, we get a tough, shot-maker’s track that has given us some solid champions.
Henrik Stenson and Justin Thomas lead the field as odds-on-favorites to win whil Matt Kuchar, Gary Woodland, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson join the field this weekend.
Stenson had to withdraw from last week’s WGC-Mexico Championship with an upset stomach. He almost always plays this event and has played it quite well in past years.
Bubba Watson is playing this event for the first time since 2011, and he needs a little jump start to the year. He has played in just four tournaments, and the only times he played the weekend were in no-cut events (Tournament of Champions and WGC-Mexico Championship). As Augusta approaches, he’ll want to garner some momentum as he goes for a third green jacket. This would be a good week to do it.
As an amateur last year, Lee McCoy finished in the top five. Then later in 2016, he got into a gnarly car accident, hurt his wrist and had to sit out for two months. He got a sponsor’s exemption this week (as he should have) and will try and take advantage. He grew up on this course and will try to top last year’s cinderella story.